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Well, we’ve finally come to the day all bride’s dream about:  the big WEDDING Day!

We’re getting married tomorrow and will be on our honeymoon until May 30th.  I’d like to thank everyone who helped us get to this day-we couldn’t have done it without you!

What am I thinking right now?  To be honest, not a whole lot of anything.  🙂  Just trying to get through the rest of the work week and make it in one coherent piece to the ceremony.  🙂

I will try my very best to get back on the blog bandwagon once we return.  Until then, thanks to everyone who shared our special day!

When was the last time you went on a date?  For some of us, it’s easier to remember this than others.  If you’re in a long-term relationship or married, you might have to dig back into the brain archives to remember the last time you and your partner had a night out alone.

I have to admit that although I’ve been in a fair amount of relationships, I’ve never really been on that many dates.  When you’re with someone for a long time and living together, the concept of going out for a date becomes a foreign concept pretty quickly.  And forget about when you’re planning a wedding like Jared and I are.  Between my work schedule and all of the activities we have to check off the list, quality time is few and far between.  And when it comes to keeping a relationship healthy, that’s just not a good thing.

My sister and Owen started doing date night once a week, and I have to admit, after several weeks of me coming home crying over how busy we were and making myself crazy that I wasn’t paying enough attention to Jared, the idea became appealing to me.

The deal was this:  each week, no matter how busy we are, one of us will plan a date night.  We’ll alternate weeks so each person ends up planning 2 per month.  The best part is, there are no other rules.  Date night can be as simple as cooking  a new meal together or as lavish as going to see a show.

So far, we’ve each had the opportunity to plan 2 date nights.   Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Jared:  Dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant I’ve been wanting to try with a stop on the way home at a great bakery; honey kabobs on the grill eaten outside next to our fire pit, finished with s’mores

Me:  Picnic at a local park, complete with a Nalgene full of wine ;); Somerset Patriots minor league baseball game

Date night has helped us to stay grounded and remember that no matter what else is going on around us, it’s crucial to make time for each other, no matter how busy things get.  And keeping the spark alive and keeping each other happy is just as important to our health as all those crunches I do!

Last week I got lazy and forgot to post.  Sorry.  No excuse!  So, this week we’ll continue with our best of series.  This week, we’re talking about my favorite topic-staying organized!  As I’ve written before, there are so many details to keep track of when it comes to planning a wedding, that if you’re not on top of your game, even the biggest pieces can fall through the cracks.

Google Docs: I don’t think I need to go on and on again about my love for Google Docs.  This is literally the best planning tool out there for people that prefer not to keep 10 million printouts of un-finalized things!  Jared and I are still using this, even up to 2 weeks before, for final changes to guest lists, seating arrangements, itineraries, and even e-mails we’re drafting to send to friends.  Life saver!

Accordion File Folder: Even though I’m more of an Internet doc girl myself, there are many reasons to keep paper files, such as contracts, receipts, etc.  I bought this accordion folder from The Container Store awhile back, and it’s seriously been my life line.  Love it!  I organized mine into a few different categories:  “The Madison, Reception, Bride, Registry, Misc.” etc.  Really helps when we can’t figure out what we actually included in our photo package, for instance, to not have to sort through emails.

TheKnot.com Checklist: Fellow brides, I know you’ve all been there with me-that moment of panic when you’re absolutely sure you’re forgetting to do something major?  The planning checklist on The Knot has been my saving grace in that sense, with it’s simple yet comprehensive task list that I can add to as we go.  Reminds me that maybe I do have my act together after all!

Brides Magazine Checklist: Brides Magazine was one of my favorites when I still felt the need to read bridal magazines.  In each issue, they have a tear out checklist that has been super helpful.  Even though I have The Knot, I think it’s always good to have 2, just to make sure you’re covering all your bases.

Response Card Box: Nothing fancy here, just a shoe-box type item that Jared and I used to store all of the responses we got to our wedding invitation.  Once we had received most of them, I organized them according to the way our list was laid out.  This allowed us to do a quick cross-check to make sure we had included everyone we had response cards for.  Simple, but still super effective for ensuring no one is left out.

And finally, last but not least:  anyone who has ever worked with me before knows that I am the queen of the written out “to-do” list.  Whether it’s a daily or weekly list, having your tasks right in front of you at all times cuts down on the amount of time it takes us to figure out what needs to be done.  So, grab that pen, and start that list!  The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to check that box and move on 🙂

Jared and I are back to tracking our caloric intake on Livestrong.  Part of the program also tracks your daily values of fiber, sodium, carbs, fat, etc.  Last time we did this, it made me a lot more aware of how much sodium some of the frozen “healthy” meals have.  I made a comment about that to someone recently, and they seemed surprised I would be concerned with sodium.  So, why is sodium a concern?

The American Heart Association explains why better than I can.  🙂  The obvious down sides are increased risk for hypertension, heart disease and stroke.  I know I’m young for that, but what better time to think about how what we’re eating affects our health in the years to come?

There are lots of new regulations being discussed to cut down on sodium in processed food.  Very interested to see how this plays out in the coming years.

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